A new study indicates fit is more important than fat when it comes to protecting the heart. In other words, an obese person can have a level of fitness that protects them from heart disease, while someone else who has lost a lot of weight by diet or surgery alone may be at higher risk for heart trouble.
In a four year study, researchers questioned 900 women who were having symptoms of heart problems. How would you answer this from the survey?
"Are they able to climb a flight of stairs? Are they able to carry a bag of groceries up a flight of stairs? Are they able to run a short distance? We found that many women who would be classified as obese based upon their body mass index and these other measures were actually able to perform a lot of these day to day activities which our questionnaires judged to be physically fit," says Dr. Timoth Wessel, University of Florida Study Researcher.
The Heart Health Study was a joint effort of five institutions and is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Overwhelmingly, all agreed that even though obesity is a major risk factor for many health problems, when it comes to heart disease, exercise is the key. Diet alone may not help the heart stay healthy.